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June News from Bellingham Senior Center

May 31, 2017 07:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Bellingham Senior Center

From the Director…

We have a number of special offerings for you in June. We offer a variety of weekly fitness, recreation and socialization programs, and beginning on June 23, at 1:30 pm, the Bellingham Senior Center will kick off its new learning and cultural program series with Professor Gary Hylander, who will present part 1 of “Treason Season: Benedict Arnold.” Monthly Learning & Cultural programs will be offered at the Center in  conjunction with a series of evidence- based healthy-aging grograms; please contact me for  details.
On May 1, representatives from the Bellingham Senior Center Quilting Group traveled to Connecticut to deliver over 50 handmade quilts to the Hole in the Wall Camp. The Bellingham Senior Center Quilters make more than sixty quilts annually to donate to the Paul Newman Foundation Camp for terminally ill children and teens. The children choose a quilt that is theirs for life. They are thrilled with the work done by our quilting group, which meets every Monday at 8:30 am. There are openings for both experienced and inexperienced quilters. If you would like to learn the art of quilting, please come to the Center any Monday.
I would like to extend a special thank you to all of the Bellingham Senior Center quilters for their dedication and devotion.
submitted by Carolyn Roycroft, Bellingham Senior Center Director

June Events

  • Birthday Party—Thursday, June 29, at 12 pm; lunch includes clam cakes and chowder for $9/pp. This is a catered luncheon to celebrate all birthdays  during the month of June. Reservations must be accompanied by your payment; no refund  if you cancel after 4 pm on June 27. All residents 90 and older are invited free during your birthday month. This month, the cake has been donated by Franklin Health &  Rehabilitation Center; hosted by the Bellingham Council on Aging, and sponsored by the Elder Service Group. 
  • Genealogy Group—Join Activity Leader Toni Picariello on Monday, June 5, 2–4 pm, and start a  new hobby, researching your family history at your own pace. No fee.
  • Legal Consultations—June 21, 2–4 pm (by appt. only) with attorney Daniel T. Doyle. Call 508-966-0398 to make an appointment.
  • Learn to Make a Fleece Blanket—Thursday, June 15, 1–3 pm, with Eva. Sign up at the front desk   or call 508-966-0398. Space is limited to 4.  
  • RMV Near Me—Friday, June 9, 11–1 pm. The Bellingham Council on Aging (COA) is partnering with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to offer assistance processing routine RMV transactions online. Residents can stop by the senior center or call ahead and meet with Assistant Director Lisa Mottola, who was trained by RMV staff to assist residents with online transactions as well as helping to locate important RMV forms, documents, and resources online.   
  • Senior Prom & Dinner—Friday, June 16, 4–7 pm; dinner will be served at 5 pm. See article on this free event on page 27.
  • MA Bar Association “A Legal Checkup”—Tuesday, June 13, 6–7 pm. Q & A to follow. Please sign up at the front desk, 508-966-0398.
  • Bereavement Support—Group will meet on Thursday, June 8 and 22, at 11:15 am, and will provide you an opportunity to join with others who have experienced a similar loss. Bereavement Group Leader is resident Kay Page. If you think you might be interested in coming to the Bereavement Support Group, please call our Center at 508-966-0398 and give your name and number. This group is funded by a state grant Administered by MA Association for Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors.
  • Men’s Group—Stop in any Wednesday morning at 10 am, for coffee, light discussion, storytelling and  occasionally a joke or two. This group meets for an  hour in the Center’s dining room without any agenda  unless a guest speaker stops by. New members are always welcome.
  • Zentangle—Tuesdays, 5–7 pm. A new art form that includes concentrated drawings and exercise for hands and eyes. Call 508-966-0398 to register.
  • Jewelry-Making—Thursdays, 10:30 am. Wire-wrap jewelry using gold-filled or sterling wire and semi-precious stones. Advance registration is required; call the senior center at 508-966-0398.


• Chair Volleyball, 9:15 am, with Peg Brooks; free.
• Chair Exercise, 10:30 am, with Beth Coelho; $3/class.
• Line Dance Classes with Instructor Suezy O’Coin; 401-766-9495; free. Beginners, 1 pm; Advanced, 2 pm.
• Yoga, 10:30 am, with Sue Winters; $3/class. Bring a mat or use ours.
• Tai Chi, 5:45 pm, with Jean Donnelly; $13/class with a 10-class commitment; $15 per drop-in class.
• Motion to Music, 11:30 am, with Instructor Linda Trudeau; free.
• Yogalates, 10 am, with YMCA Instructor Kay Thomas; $5/class.
• Zumba/Core, 9:30 am with Kay Thomas; $3/class.
• Chair Exercise, 10:30 am, with Beth Coelho; $3/class.
• Tai Chi, 1 pm; $5/class for 60+ and students; $10/class for non-seniors.

Supportive Day Program

The Friendship Club, runs Monday through Friday 9 am to 3 pm. Members can spend  as little as one or up to five days per week. Healthy snacks and lunch are included  each day. The program is a fee-for-service program costing $35 per day. Enjoyment,  conversation and gentle exercise are part of every day.
Prospective clients may visit the program on a trial basis for one day at no charge. If  you are caring for someone who is frail, often on their own, has dementia or low  vision, give us a call. Transportation is available at no additional cost for residents.  Please Contact 508-657-2705 with your questions. 

EMHOP-Mental Health Outreach Program

If you know someone struggling with anxiety, depression or you have other similar  concerns we now have a program that provides outreach, assessment and  evaluation services for residents, age 60 and over. 

Our Mental Health Coordinator, Gail Bourassa, will work with us to assist seniors and  provide services or make referrals to an agency for continued treatment. 

The goal of the project is to help older adults get back to being able to participate in  the community or social activities they choose. In Bellingham for more information  or to make a referral, please call 508-657-2710 or 508-657-2708.  

S.H.I.N.E. Program

In Bellingham Judy and Leland Katz provide free, unbiased, confidential counseling  on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare Tuesdays by  appointment. Call 508-966-0398 and ask for a SHINE appointment at the Bellingham Senior Center or call the Regional SHINE  Office at 508-422-9931. 
How Can SHINE Help You?
Are you turning 65 in the next three months? Are you over 65 and planning to retire soon? Do you understand all your Medicare  plan options? Are you having trouble paying for medical expenses and prescription drugs? If any of these apply to you, contact  the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone…on Medicare) program for assistance. SHINE is not just here during  Medicare Open Enrollment. Trained volunteers are available all year to help you! They offer free, confidential counseling on  all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare. To schedule a SHINE appointment, call your local Senior Center. For  other SHINE related matters, call 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 3. Once you get the SHINE answering  machine, leave your name and number. A volunteer will call you back, as soon as possible. 


A recent survey completed on behalf of the Prescription Advantage Program shows that 
MEDICARE Beneficiaries are not utilizing this valuable program to supplement their prescription drug plan coverage.  According to this survey there are 69,390 potential Prescription Advantage members in the Worcester County Area. Of these  69,390 potential members, only 5,652 beneficiaries are currently enrolled in Prescription Advantage. This leaves more than 63,  700 potential members who are not enrolled in this very valuable program. Remember!! Prescription Advantage is the only  program available to beneficiaries with low to moderate income that will help them when and if they reach the Prescription Drug  Plan Coverage GAP. Members in Prescription Advantage can save thousands of dollars on their Drug Costs by enrolling in this  program. It is important to stress this information at this time as events in Congress may in the near future, eliminate all  assistance provided to the Medicare Part D Program by the Affordable Care Act. Be sure to ask your local SHINE Counselor  about this important and valuable program. Call Prescription Advantage at 800-243-4636 (option 2) for more  information or to apply. You can also apply on line at


The Central MASS SHINE Program is now sponsoring a monthly Cable TV program called SHINE’s MEDICARE AND MORE”, we  hope your local cable channel will pick it up. This program is designed to educate and update MEDICARE beneficiaries and  their families on MEDICARE and other programs that can assist you with your health insurance needs. If you don’t see it on  your local cable channel give them call and ask about it. 

The Central Mass Region has recently launched its website. You can visit us on the web at Our site has  valuable general information and links to other agencies that can assist you with you insurance needs.
Trained SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone) volunteers can help you! They offer free, unbiased,  confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare. Call your senior center and ask for a SHINE  appointment. You can also call 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 3. Once you get the SHINE answering machine, leave your name and number. A volunteer will call you back. You can now visit us on the internet at 

Sharps (needle) Disposal Options

For the convenience and safety of the community we offer two options:  . You may use the large collection container stationed inside near the front door of the senior center at 40 Blackstone  Street by placing your needles, syringes and sharps in a designated container marked with the universal biohazard  warning symbol or a sturdy container that is water and puncture proof such as coffee can, or smaller bleach or  detergent bottle, and drop them off. We have 1 qt. sharps containers. Pick one up now for a $1 donation. 
As of July 1, 2012, a statewide ban on the disposal of needles, syringes and lancets “sharps” in household trash took effect.  According to state law it is illegal to dispose of sharps, as well as unopened packages of hypodermic needles and lancets, by  throwing them in the trash. 

Bereavement Support

Our group meets this month on Thursday, June 8 & 22 at 11:15 a.m. and will provide you an opportunity to join with others who have experienced a similar loss. Our Bereavement Group Leader is resident, Kay Page. If you think you might be interested in coming to the Bereavement Support Group, please call our Center at 508-966-0398 and we will take your name and number. This group is funded by a state grant Administered by Massachusetts Association for Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors.

Tax Work-Off Program

Are You Interested In Earning A Break On Your Property Tax Bill?  Find out more about how the Bellingham Property Tax Work-Off Program operates. Pick up your application at the Senior Center for the new program year which started on December 1, 2016 and ends Nov 30, 2017.

Earn up to $1,000 off your Property Tax Bill while helping the town. One hundred and twenty-eight seniors participated in this great town-funded program last year.

For more information on the Senior and Veteran Tax Work-Off Program or to pick up an
application, call the Senior Center (Intake Site) at 508-966-0398.

Youth Leadership Academy

NORFOLK COUNTY SHERIFF MICHAEL G. BELLOTTI is proud to announce a program that will connect seniors and youth this summer. Sheriff Bellotti would like to invite Bellingham Seniors to visit the Youth Leadership Academy located in Braintree. This week long academy for 10-14 year olds from Norfolk County which features a ropes course helps these young people develop good decision making leadership skills. Seniors will also be given a tour of the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Public Safety Complex and observe the children as they par-take in the challenges of the ropes course.

Youth Leadership Camp will be held in Braintree on Thursday, August 17, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Group is limited to minimum 12, maximum 22, and transportation will be provided.  Please sign up at the senior center front desk or call 508-966-0398.

C.H.O.R.E . . . Handyman Service

This program provides minor repairs to your home by an honest, reliable and experienced handyman at a modest rate, or even no cost to you, depending on your gross income. You are asked to pay for the materials needed for your repair. Priority is given to low-income households and repairs that address safety and health concerns. We take care of routine household repairs and also the installation of new items like: carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, grab-bars in the bath area. For a flyer or to request service, call 508-966-0398. Sponsored by the Bellingham Council on Aging with formula grant funding from the State Office of Elder Affairs.

You May Qualify for Financial Assistance

Did you know that you can get help in paying for a new roof? Did you know that if you get fuel assistance you should be getting a reduction on your landline as long as it isn’t bundled (put into one account with your cable and computer)?  The town of Bellingham has several programs to aid its senior citizens in paying their real estate taxes, so you may want to inquire with the tax assessor’s office; they will help you determine what you qualify for.

There is a state program called Circuit Breaker which is designed to return some of the money you've paid in real estate taxes and 50% of your water/sewer bills. After the age of 70, you aren't required to file taxes; however, in order to qualify for Circuit Breaker you do need to file a state tax return. If you have been filing you can get up to three years’ of rebates, some individuals have gotten upwards of $1000 If you would like to explore this option, and you are a home owner or renter, call the Senior Center and talk to John Hogan, he is our Circuit Breaker specialist. You will not qualify if you live in subsidized housing. This can be done at any time of the year. If you are a Vet, regardless of whether or not you served your country, there are programs that you may qualify for. Additionally, the widows of Vets and their children may qualify for certain programs. Contact Bob Greenhalgh, Bellingham Veteran Agent to further discuss.





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